Bacardi Jackson is the deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Children’s Rights Practice Group, overseeing efforts to stop the school-to-prison pipeline and ensure equitable access to mental health services and high-quality public education.
Jackson is a seasoned trial attorney with over 20 years of litigation experience in state, federal and administrative courts. She previously served as a managing attorney for the Tucker Law Group, a Black-owned litigation boutique, where she established and managed the firm’s Florida office. She represented a wide range of clients, including Fortune 100 companies, colleges, universities, governmental entities and individuals in civil rights, employment, catastrophic personal injury and other complex civil cases.
She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University and a law degree from Yale Law School. Following a federal clerkship, she practiced at the international law firm of King & Spalding in Atlanta before joining Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Philadelphia. As a law student, she interned at several legal services and civil rights organizations, including the SPLC, and co-taught an undergraduate law course in Yale’s African and African American Studies Department with the Honorable Justice Fleming Norcott.
She has also worked in Congress for U.S. Rep. John Conyers and U.S. Sen. Harlan Mathews; spearheaded yearlong national programming on Voting Rights at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee; served as a court advocate in the Manhattan Criminal Court for the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services; and developed a transition program for returning citizens as a New York City Urban Fellow with the NYC Department of Correction.
Jackson has received numerous accolades. She was the inaugural recipient of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Distinguished Young Leader Award and has been recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer from 2020 through 2023. She was honored by Stanford University’s Centers for Equity, Community & Leadership in 2023 as a Changemaker and by Legacy magazine in 2015 as one of South Florida’s 25 most influential and prominent Black women in business and leadership. She has also worked extensively as a board member of several nonprofit groups.